Relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have spanned since the common prehistoric Indo-Iranian heritage. The Western region of Pakistan was one part of the easternmost satraps provinces of Persian empire which included the areas of Satraps provinces of present-day Pakistan. Even as of today, many antique and historic buildings in Pakistan have classical Persian writings on manuscript of the buildings.
After the establishment of Pakistan on August 1947, Iran has a unique distinction of being the first country to internationally recognize the status of Pakistan. As of current, both countries are economic partners and large-scale tourism and migration between the two nations has increased rapport. This cooperation would continue throughout the Cold war with Iran supporting Pakistan in its conflicts with arch-rival, India. In return, Pakistan went on to support Iran militarily during the Iran–Iraq War in 1980s. Since 2000, the relations between each state has been normalized and economical and military collaboration has strengthened the relations ever since.
Recent difficulties have included repeated trade disputes, sphere of influence, and political position. While Pakistan's foreign policy maintains balanced relations with Saudi Arabia, United States and the European Union, Iran tends to warn against it and raised concern including the Pakistan's absolute backing of Taliban during the fourth phase of civil war in Afghanistan during the last ending years of the 20th century. Nevertheless, the economic and trade relations continued to expand in both absolute and relative terms, and relations were immensely improved in 1999 that led the subsequent signing of a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. At present, both countries are cooperating and forming alliance against a number of areas of mutual interest on fighting drug trade along their common border as well as defeating Afghan supported tribal insurgency along their border. They are both members of the Developing 8 Countries group of countries as well as the Economic Cooperation Organization; and are also both observers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Iran has been a respected, popular, and favorable nation among Pakistanis, with 76% of Pakistanis have consistently view their western neighbor positively, making Pakistan the most pro-Iran nation in the world.
- 1 Country comparison
- 2 Relations between political executives
- 3 Relations since 2000
- 4 Trade and Economics
- 5 Energy
- 6 Diplomacy and role in mediation
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
|Area||1,648,195 km² (636,372 sq mi)||796,095 km² (307,374 sq mi)|
|Population Density||48/km² (117.4/sq mi)||226.6/km² (555/sq mi)|
Theocratic and Unitary state
Federal parliamentary democratic republic
|National language||Persian||Urdu and English|
|Main Religions||98% Islam (90% Shi'a 8% Sunni), 2% religious minorities, including Bahá'ís,
Mandeans, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians
|95% Islam (65% Sunni, 30% Shi'a), 1.6% Christianity, 1.6% Hinduism, 2.0% others|
|GDP (nominal)||$496.243 billion ($6,445 per capita)||$230.525 billion ($1,410 per capita)|
|GDP (PPP)||$1,006.540 billion||$514.559 billion|
Persian language and culture in Pakistan
The Urdu literature is heavily in-debt to Persian literature. The Qawwali, a popular art, performed at religious shrines in Pakistan derives it strength from Persian poetry. Iranian poets Hafiz Shirazi and Omar Khayyám are household words in Pakistan as is Allama Iqbal in Iran.
The Persian speaking Qizilbash tribe settled in northern regions of modern Pakistan and their numbers were further increased with the arrival of tens of thousands of Qizilbash refugees from neighboring Afghanistan when they were termed enemies of the state by the then Emir of Afghanistan for allegedly siding with the British Raj in the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839 to 1842).
Persian as an official language was abolished from the region with the arrival of the British in the province of Sindh in 1843 and Punjab in 1849 to minimize the influence of Persia on the regions that now make up Pakistan and to integrate these regions with the rest of South Asia. It is still spoken and understood by the educated elite as a literary and prestigious language, especially in the fields of music (Qawwali) and art. The National Anthem of Pakistan, while written in Urdu, has heavy poetic vocabulary from Persian. Many distinctly Persian forms of literature, such as Ghazal, Qasida, Marsia and Nazms, directly carried over into Urdu literature, producing a distinct melding of Persian heritages. A famous cross-over writer was Amir Khusro, whose Persian and Urdu couplets are to this day read in Pakistan. Allama Iqbal, the renowned poet-philosopher and the national poet of Pakistan, wrote much of his poetry in the Persian. He is known as Iqbal-e-Lahori ("Iqbal of Lahore") among Persian-speakers.
Nausheen Shah, fashion writer for the New York Post, was born in Sheboygan, United States of America to Pakistani-Persian parents. She has become a global icon in the fashion industry, most notably for being an exclusive stylist to Grammy-nominee Nadia Ali as well as running the highly successful blog A Shah's Life.
In the Balochistan region in the southeast of Iran and in the southwest of Pakistan, the Balochi people travels to Iran regularly, often without visas, causing considerable problems for the Iranian Guards Corps as well as the Frontier Corps of Pakistan. Since 2010, there has been an increase in friendship between the two nations with senior figures from both governments frequently meeting each other as both countries work together to find a regional solution to the Afghan war and progress on talks over a proposed gas pipeline and an ECO.
Since 1950s, Pakistan has been awarding more than 28 scholarships to Iranian students to come and continue their education in the disciplines of engineering, medical professions, theology and divinity, and Pharmacy, under the Pakistan Technical Assistance Programme (PTAP). In addition, many self-finance Iranian students are given admission in various educational institutions of Pakistan, according to Pakistan, the Punjab University, Karachi University and Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, remains among the most popular institutions for the Iranian students. Each and every year, the Iranian media delegations have been visiting Pakistan since 2004, many journalists settled in Pakistan. These visits have play an effective role in promoting mutual understanding and projection of better image of Pakistan in Iran.
Today, many ethnic and social groups in Pakistan trace their ancestry to Iran. Populous figures including Benazir, Murtaza, Sanam, and Shah Navaz were half Kurdish-Iranian from her mother's side. Also, former president and chief of army staff General Yahya Khan traces his ancestry to a soldier who arrived in 1738 with Nader Shah of Persia. Yousaf Raza Gillani (Office: 2008-2012) also has an Iranian ancestry and hails from the Iranian Gilan Province, and is a descendant of Abdul-Qadir Gilani.
From the 1857 British colonial rule in the subcontinent until prior to the establishment of Pakistan in 1947, the present day territories and areas of modern Pakistan was under the administrative control and influence under the colonial rule of the British Empire. Despite Persia being a major rival to the Mughals in their time of colonial period, the influence of Persian culture had a wide impact throughout South Asia due to the Mughals themselves being highly Persianised people.
After failing to support the military campaign against Sher Shah Suri-I, the Mughal Emperor Humayun-I escaped to Persia via Sindh to which already had flourishing relations with the Safavis. However, after years later, the Persian emperor Nader Shah invaded the Mughal Empire and was able to pass through the areas that what are now the provinces of Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In later centuries, the successful conquests by Greek leader Alexander resulted in Pakistan's part becoming part of the Greek Empire. After the death of Alexander the Great, the territories were later invaded and became part of empires of Timur and Nadir Shah resulted in both countries being under a single ruler. Persian nobles, most famously Nur Jahan, formed an important part of the nobility during the Mughal era.
Relations between political executives
The executive governments of each country is represented differently with different form of government institutions. In Iran, the President is head of government while the Supreme Leader is the head of state who outranks executive authority over the Iranian President.
In Pakistan, the Prime Minister is the head of government only, and his or her "government" or "ministry" directs the executive branch of the government while the President has no authority over the government who is constitutionally designated as a ceremonial figurehead.
Relations during the Cold war
In a book, The Frontiers of Pakistan, written by Iranian scholar dr. Mujtaba Razvi, noted that, "almost without exception, Pakistan has enjoyed very cordial relations with Iran since its inception on 14 August 1947. Iran was the first country to recognize Pakistan as an independent state, and Shah of Iran was the first Head of State to come on a state visit to Pakistan in March 1950". Since 1947, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan, had long advocated for the pro-Iranian policy and was the main architect of the policy that Pakistan was to pursue with regard to Iran, its closest Muslim neighbor. At the various cabinet meetings, Jinnah dwelled at length on the importance of fostering cordial relations with Iran in particular and the Muslim world in general. On several occasion, Jinnah pointed out with great vision that Pakistan could look forward to a genuine and lasting relationship with Iran for which he named Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan as Pakistan's first ambassador to Iran with a directive to forge fraternal ties based on genuine respect to each other. On personal initiatives, Jinnah told him that he was going to a country, which already had the most cordial relations in the world with Pakistan since centuries ago. In May 1949, Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan paid his first state visit to Iran; when India lost its territorial continuity with Iran, Pakistan became a defining factor in Iranian relations with India. Despite Shia-Sunni divisions, Islamic identity became an important factor in shaping the Iran–Pakistan relationship, especially after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. In May 1950, a treaty of friendship was signed by the Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan and Shah of Iran.
The treaty of friendship's some of the clauses were geopolitical. Quickly, Pakistan found a natural partner in Iran after the Indian government chose to support Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser who sought to export a pan-Arab ideology that threatened many Arab monarchies, a number of which were favored by the Iranian shah. Harsh V. Pant, a foreign policy writer, noted that Iran was a natural ally and model for Pakistan for other reasons as well. Both countries granted the each other the MFN status for trade purposes; the shah offered Iranian oil and gas to Pakistan on generous terms, and the Iranian and Pakistani armies cooperated to suppress the rebel movement in Baluchistan. During the Shah's era, Iran moved closer to Pakistan in many fields and the two nations worked closely with each other. Pakistan, Iran and Turkey joined the United States-sponsored Central Treaty Organization defence treaty which extended along the Soviet Union's southern perimeter. Iran played an important role in Indo-Pakistani war in 1965 and its qualified nurses, medical supplies, and a gift of 5,000 tons of petroleum and indicated that it was considering an embargo on oil supplies to India for the duration of the fighting. India blatantly believed Iran that it had supplied oil free of cost to Pakistan. After the suspension of the United States' military aid to Pakistan, Iran was reported to have purchased 90 Sabre Jet Fighters from West Germany and to have sent them to Pakistan.
Earlier in 1955, though Pakistan's membership of Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) no doubt was motivated by its security imperatives against India, as Ziring believed in, was not signed by Pakistan until Iran was satisfied that the British Government was not going to be obstructive on the nationalization of British oil companies in Iran. According to Dr. Mujtaba Razvi, Pakistan probably would never have joined the Baghdad Pact (CENTO), had Iran not decided to join too.
Iran again played a vital role in Pakistan's 1971 conflict with India, this time, Iran helped sheltered Pakistan's military depot and equipment. Iran initially became shocked after hearing the news of surrendering its eastern armed forces to India in 1971. During the 1971 war with India, Pakistan received full military and diplomatic support from Iran against India, with Shah of Iran calling Indian attack as an "aggression" and the Indian action as interference in Pakistan's domestic affairs. In an interview with a local newspaper in Paris, Shah of Iran openly acknowledged that: "We are opposed to all interference in its (Pakistan's) internal affairs, we are hundred percent behind Pakistan". The Iranian Prime Minister Amir-Abbas Hoveida also toed his ruler's line and said that: "Pakistan was being subjected to violence and force." Although Iran maintained a Pro-Pakistan policy, Iran tried again and again to make it clear that it did not want the dismemberment of Pakistan because that would have adversely affected the domestic stability and security of Iran. The breakup of Pakistan would also encourage Kurds separatists in Iran to rise up against the Iranian government and thus jeopardize the security of Iran. In the same vein, Iran tried to justify the supply of arms to Pakistan on the ground that in its desperation Pakistan may fall into the Chinese lap. On the other hand, Iran changed its foreign priorities after making a move to maintain good relations with India.
In December 1971, the breakup of Pakistan convinced Iran that its eastern flank should be stable and its territorial integrity should be maintained. With the emergence of Bangladesh as a separate State, the "Two-nations theory" received a severe blow and questions even arose in Iranian establishment about whether the residual western part of Pakistan could hold together and would remain a single country. The events of December 1971 brought significant perceptional changes in Tehran's ruling elite and among Arab States regarding Pakistan.
When the armed insurgency widely spread out in the Balochistan Province of Pakistan, petrified Iran who feared the insurgency might spilled over to its Balochistan Province. Iran came to great aid to Pakistan when it provided military support to help Pakistan to tackle its insurgency. The Imperial Iranian Army began providing Pakistan with military hardware and financial support, including many intelligence sources that were fed up to Pakistan. Among Iran's contribution were 30 Huey cobra attack helicopters and $200 million in aid. The Pakistan government declared its belief in covert Indian intervention just like the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. However India claimed that it was fearful of further balkanization of the subcontinent after Bangladesh and stated it had not interfered. After three days of fighting the separatists were running out of ammunition and so withdrew by 1976. The armed Sindhi independence struggle agitated Iran when the Iranian government came to full extend that the Sindhi struggle would virtually leading towards the collapse of the residual Pakistan. Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad|Cited source The relationship further strengthened in the 1970s to suppress a rebel movement in Pakistan's Baluchistan province, across provinces of Iranian Baluchestan, Afghan Balochistan. In addition, the Shah of Iran offered considerable development aid to Pakistan including oil and gas on preferential terms. After 1974, the divergence has been dictated by the fact that Pakistan was a third world country and small power, while during the 1960-70s, Iran was industrialized and internationally considered as the 5th strongest and largest army and was the clear undisputed regional superpower. In addition to this, Iran's total dependence on the United States at that time for its economic development and military build-up won for it the hostility of Arab world. Problems arose in 1974 with Bhutto, when Mohammad Reza Pahlavi did not attend the Islamic Conference in Lahore because Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was invited to it despite the known hostility of the Shah for Gaddafi. In 1976, Iran again played a vital and influential role by facilitating Pakistan with Afghanistan for rapprochement in 1976.
Although, Iran's reaction was muted after the surprise nuclear test detonation Smiling Buddha by India in 1974. During the state visit to Iran in 1977, Bhutto persuaded Pahlavi to win his support for the financial support over its large-scale but clandestine atomic bomb project in 1970s. Though the Iranian reaction was not known; yet there were indications that the Shah had refused to oblige Bhutto.
In 1977, following a political agitation by the opposition alliance against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a military coup d'état (codename: Fair Play) was initiated to remove Bhutto on 5 July 1977. The new military government, under General Zia-ul-Haq, was ideologically ultraconservative and Islamically oriented in its nature and approach.
After the Iranian Revolution and overthrow of Shah of Iran, Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khomeini withdrew Iran from CENTO and dissociated itself from the United States. The religiously influenced military government of Zia-ul-Haq then provided a rare opportunity and the political change in Pakistan and the Islamic Revolution in Iran suited well to one another and, therefore, no diplomatic and political cleavage occurred between them. Rather, the two events turned out to be bonus for one another's already existing good relations. In 1979, Pakistan was one of the first countries in the world which recognized the revolutionary regime in Iran. Responding swiftly to this great revolutionary change, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Agha Shahi immediately paid a state visit to Tehran who met the Iranian counterpart Karim Sanjabi on March 10, 1979. Both expressed confidence by stating that Iran and Pakistan were going to march together to a brighter future. The next day, Agha Shahi held talks with the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in which developments in the region were discussed. On 11 April 1979, Zia famously declared that: "Khomeini is a symbol of Islamic insurgence". Reciprocating President Zia's sentiments, Imam Khomeini, in his letter, called for Muslim unity. He declared: "Ties with Pakistan are based on Islam." By 1981, Pakistan under President Zia-ul-Haq was close allies again with the United States, and came under its sphere of influence; a position Pakistan has remained in since. Despite close ties under the Shah, Pakistan was among the first countries to recognize the new Iranian government, and attempted to rebuild ties.
Pakistan support for Iran during the Iran–Iraq war
In the wake of Iran-Iraq War in 1980s, the Gulf Cooperation Council was formed in 1981 in the Middle East. Most of the military instructors were from the Pakistan Armed Forces, around ~40,000 military personnel of Pakistan Armed Forces were stationed in Saudi Arabia to reinforce the internal and external security of the country. The Iran-Iraq war was a polarize issue in Pakistan, with half of its population was now under threat from the Shia population and from revolutionary Iran. President Zia managed the Pakistan's security efficiently with knowing the fact that, since Pakistan was closer to United States, the country would be dragged in a war against the friendliest neighbor at the behest of the United States. The high-ranking members of Pakistan Armed Forces strongly objected the killing of Shai pilgrims in the Saudi Arabia, Zia did not issue any orders to Pakistan Armed Forces-Arab Contingent Forces, to engage any country militarily.
Despite the United States urging, the Iran-Iraq war provided Zia with an opportunity to deal with Iran. Many stringer missiles shipped for Afghan mujahideen were sold to Iran which proved to be a defining factor for Iran in the Tanker war.
Soviet integration and Afghan civil war
On December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded the fragile Communist Afghanistan to protect the communism cycle in Central Asia. In 1980, the following Iraqi attack on Iran and subsequent Soviet support for Iraq, improved the Iranian ties with Pakistan. Pakistan coordinated their covert support for the sectarian Pashtun groups while Iran largely supported the Tajik groups, though they all fight as the Afghan mujahideen.
After 1989, both state's policies in Afghanistan became even more divergent as Pakistan under Benazir Bhutto was explicitly supporting Taliban forces in Afghanistan. This resulted in a major breach as Iran became closer to India as their policies were more convergent. According to Pakistan's foreign service officer, for Pakistan, it is difficult to maintain good relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia, United States and Iran at the same time, since Iran has long history of rivalry with these states. In 1995, Benazir Bhutto paid a lengthy state visit to Iran and greatly relaxed the relations with Iran and at public meeting with Iranian society, she spoke highly of Iran and Iranian society. The Shia-Sunni gun battles in Pakistan became even more coordinated and strained relations further. This was followed by the Taliban's succeeded and took over the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998 and massacred thousands of Shias, according to Amnesty International. But, the most serious breach in their relations took place in 1998 after Iran accused Taliban Afghanistan of holding hostage 11 Iranian diplomats, 35 Iranian truck drivers and an Iranian journalist, later killing all them. As a repercussion, Iran responded by massing over 300,000 troops at the Afghan border and threatened to attack the Taliban government, which Iran never recognized. This strained relations with Pakistan, as the Taliban were seen as Pakistan's key allies. In May 1998, Iran criticized Pakistan for its nuclear testing in Chagai region, and hold Pakistan accounted for global "atomic proliferation". Sharif acknowledged his country's nuclear capability on 7 September 1997. But before the meeting took place, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was in the power, directed a secret courier to Israel via Pakistan Ambassador to United Nations Inam-ul-Haq and Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Dr. Maliha Lodhi, in which Pakistan sided with Israel and gave uttermost assurance to Israel that Pakistan will not transfer any aspects of nuclear technology or materials to Iran.
Bilateral and Multilateral visits in the late 1990s
In 1995, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto paid a state visit to Iran to laid the groundwork on the memorandum on energy, and initially starting the work on finalizing the Energy security between two countries. This was followed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paying state visit to Tehran for the 8th OIC Summit Conference from 9–11 December 1997. While there Sharif held bilateral talks with President Khatami, with a view to improving bilateral relations, as well as joining hands to find a solution to the Afghan crisis.
Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf paid a two-day visit to Tehran from 8–9 December 1999. This was Musharraf's first visit to Iran (and his third international trip) after his military coup d'état of 12 October 1999, and his subsequent takeover of power in Pakistan. In Iran, Musharraf held talks with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and with the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. This visit was arranged to allow Musharraf to explain the reasons for his takeover in Pakistan.
It also allowed for discussions around the situation in Afghanistan, which were intended to lead both countries to "coordinate the policies of our two countries for encouraging the peace process through reconciliation and dialogue among the Afghan parties".
Relations since 2000
Since 2000, the relations began to normalize and economic cooperation was strengthened between each state. The 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States changed the foreign policy priorities of both Iran and Pakistan. The George W. Bush administration's tough stance forced President Pervez Musharraf to support Washington's "war on terror," which ended Taliban rule in Kabul. Though Iranian officials welcomed the move, they soon found themselves encircled by U.S. forces in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and the Persian Gulf.
President Bush's inclusion of the Islamic Republic as part of an "Axis of Evil" also led to some Iranian officials to presume that Tehran might be next in line for the regime change and ended whatever détente had occurred in Iran–U.S. ties under Khatami. Bush's emphasis on transformative diplomacy and democratization worried Iranian leaders further.
Bilateral visits after 2000
In April 2001, the Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Hassan Rowhani (who is President of Iran since August 2013) paid a state visit to Pakistan and met with Pervez Musharraf and his cabinet. During this visit, Iran and Pakistan agreed to put their differences aside and agree on a broad-based government for Afghanistan.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi paid a two-day visit to Islamabad from 29–30 November 2001. Kharazi met with Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar and President Musharraf. Iran and Pakistan vowed to improve their relations, and agreed to help establish a broad-based, multi-ethnic government under U.N. auspices.
The President of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, paid a three-day state visit to Pakistan from 23–25 December 2002, the first visit by an Iranian head of government since 1992. It was a high-level delegation, consisting of the Iranian cabinet, members of the Iranian parliament, Iranian Vice-President and President Khatami. This visit was meant to provide a new beginning to Iran–Pakistan relations. It would also allow for high-level discussions on the future of the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline (IPI) project. Khatami met, and had detailed discussions, with both President Musharraf and the new Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali. Several accords were signed between Iran and Pakistan in this visit. Khatami also delivered a talk on “Dialogue Among Civilizations,” at the Institute of Strategic Studies. The presidential delegation initially visited Islamabad, and then followed that up with a visit to Lahore, where Khatami also paid his respects at the tomb of Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal. A Joint communique was issued by Iran and Pakistan on the conclusion of Khatami's visit. On his return to Tehran, Khatami evaluated the trip as "positive and fruitful".
As in return, Jamali paid a state visit in 2003 where he held talks with economic cooperation, security of the region, and better bilateral ties between Pakistan and Iran. During this visit, Jamali gave valuable advises to Iranian leadership on their nuclear programme "against the backdrop of the country's" negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and measures to strengthen economic relations between the two countries.
Military and Security
Iranian support for Pakistan dates back to 1960s when Iran supplied Pakistan with American military weaponry and spare parts after America cut off their military aid to Pakistan. After 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, new Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto immediately withdrew Pakistan from CENTO and SEATO after Bhutto thought that the military alliances failed to protect or appropriately assist Pakistan and instead alienated the Soviet Union. A serious military cooperation between took place during the Balochistan insurgency phases against the armed separatist movement in 1974-77. Around ~100,000 Pakistan and Iranian troops were involved in quelling the separatist organizations in Balochistan and successfully put the resistance down in 1978-80.
Atoms for Peace cooperation
Since 1987, Pakistan steadily blocked any Iranian acquisitions of nuclear weapons, though on the other hand, Pakistan whole-kindheartedly and staunchly supported Iranian viewpoint on the issue of its nuclear programme and maintained that: "Iran has the right to develop its nuclear programme within the ambit of NPT." In 1987, Pakistan and Iran publicly signed a mutual agreement on civil nuclear energy cooperation with Zia-ul-Haq personally visiting Iran for that purpose, as part of country's "atomic for peace" program. Internationally, Zia calculated that the civil nuclear cooperation with Iran was purely a "civil matter" and maintaining good relations with Tehran. According to IAEA, Iran wanted to purchase a fuel-cycle technology from Pakistan, but it was rebuffed by the Government of Pakistan. Zia did not further approve any nuclear deals, but one of the senior scientist secretively handed over the sensitive report on centrifuges in 1987–89. Evidence in 2005 showed by IAEA, Pakistan cooperation with Iranian nuclear program was limited to "non-military spheres", and the agreement was entirely "peaceful" in its nature. The technology was transferred in 1989, and Tehran offered as much as $5 billion for the nuclear weapons' technology in 1990, but Nawaz Sharif strongly rejected the offer; since then, there have been no further atoms for peace agreements.
In 2005, the IAEA evidences was revealed that such centrifuges designs that were transferred in 1989 were filled with many technical errors and based on the first commercial power plants technology; the designs were not evidences of active nuclear weapons program.
Non-belligerent policy and official viewpoint
Through a progressive reconciliation and chaotic diplomacy, both countries come closer to each other in last few years. In the changing security environment, Pakistan and Iran boosted their ties by maintaining the warmth in the relationship without taking into account the pressures from international actors.
On Iran's nuclear program and its own relations with Iran, Pakistan adopted a policy of neutrality, and played a subsequent non-belligerent role in easing the tension in the region. Since 2006, Pakistan has been strategically advising Iran on multiple occasions to counter the international pressure on its nuclear program to subsequently work on civil nuclear power, instead of active nuclear weapons program. On international front, Pakistan has been a great advocate for Iranian usage of nuclear energy for economics and civil infrastructure while it steadily stop any Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons, fearing another nuclear armed race with Saudi Arabia.
In a speech at Harvard University in 2010, the Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi justified Iran's nuclear program as peaceful and argued that Iran had "no justification" to pursue nuclear weapons, citing the lack of any immediate threat to Iran, and urged Iran to "embrace overtures" from the United States. Qureshi also observed that Iran had signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and should respect the treaty.
Trade and Economics
Relations between Iran and Pakistan improved after the removal of the Taliban in 2002, but regional rivalry continues. Pakistan has been under a strong influence of Saudi Arabia in its competition with Shiite majority Iran for influence across the broader Islamic world. Iran considers northern and western Afghanistan as its sphere of influence since its population is Persian Dari speaking. Pakistan considers southern and eastern Afghanistan as its sphere of influence since it is Pashto and Baloch speaking such as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan, respectively. Pakistan expressed concern over India's plan to build a highway linking the southern Afghanistan city of Kandahar to Zahidan, since it will reduce Afghanistan's dependence on Pakistan to the benefit of Iran.
Both the countries joined the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), a derivative of Regional Co-operation for Development (RCD), which was established in 1964. The ECO groups neighboring Muslim states recently expanded to Central Asia. As part of this regional organizational framework both countries continue to cooperate on trade and investment.
Free Trade Agreement
The Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline (IPI Pipeline) is currently under discussion; though India backed out from the project. The Indian government was under pressure by the United States against the IPI pipeline project, and appears to have heeded American policy after India and the United States proceeded to sign the nuclear deal. In addition, the international sanctions on Iran due to its controversial nuclear program could also became a factor in derailing IPI pipeline project altogether.
Trade between the two countries has increased by £1.4 billion in 2009. The Iranian governor general says that former President Ahmadinejad remains keen to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline
Discussions between the governments of Iran and Pakistan started in 1994 for the gas pipelines and energy security. A preliminary agreement was signed in 1995 by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in which, this agreement foresaw construction of a pipeline from South–North Pars gas field to Karachi in Pakistan. Later, Iran made a proposal to extend the pipeline from Pakistan into India. In February 1999, a preliminary agreement between Iran and India was signed.
Iran has the world's second largest gas reserves, after Russia, but has been trying to develop its oil and gas resources for years, due to sanctions by the West. However, the project could not take off due to different political reasons, including the new gas discoveries in Miano, Sawan and Zamzama gas fields of Pakistan. The Indian concerns on pipeline security and Iranian indecisiveness on different issues, especially prices. The Iran-Pakistan-India (denoted as IPI Pipeline) project was planned in 1995 and after almost 15 years India finally decided to quit the project in 2008 despite severe energy crises in that country.
In February 2007, India and Pakistan agreed to pay Iran US$4.93 per million BTUs (US$4.67/GJ) but some details relating to price adjustment remained open to further negotiation. Since 2008, Pakistan began facing severe criticism from the United States over any kind of energy deal with Iran. Despite delaying for years the negotiations over the IPI gas pipeline project, Pakistan and Iran have finally signed the initial agreement in Tehran in 2009. The project, termed as the peace pipeline by officials from both the countries, was signed by President Zardari and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. In 2009, India withdrew from the project over pricing and security issues, and after signing another civilian nuclear deal with the United States in 2008. However, in March 2010 India called on Pakistan and Iran for trilateral talks to be held in May 2010 in Tehran.
According to the initial design of the project, the 2,700 km long pipeline was to cover around 1,100 km in Iran, 1,000 km in Pakistan and around 600 km in India, and the size of the pipeline was estimated to be 56 inches in diameter. However, as India withdrew from the project the size of the pipeline was reduced to 42 inch. In April 2008, Iran expressed interest in the People's Republic of China's participation in the project.
Since as early as in 2005, China and Pakistan are already working on a proposal for laying a trans-Himalayan pipeline to carry Middle Eastern crude oil to western China. Beijing has been pursuing Tehran and Islamabad for its participation in the pipeline project and willing to sign a bilateral agreement with Iran.China and Pakistan are already working on a proposal for laying a trans-Himalayan pipeline to carry Middle Eastern crude oil to western China. In August 2010, Iran invited Bangladesh to join the project.
Tehran has provided €50 million for laying of 170Km transmission line for the import of 1000MW of electricity from Iran in 2009. Pakistan is already importing 34MW of electricity daily from Iran. The imported electricity is much cheaper than the electricity produced by the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) because Iran subsidizes oil and gas which feed the power plants. Iran has also offered to construct a motorway between Iran and Pakistan connecting the two countries.
Diplomacy and role in mediation
Since Iran has no diplomatic relations with the United States; the Iranian interest in the United States is represented by the Pakistan Embassy in Washington. Iranian nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri, thought to have been abducted by CIA from Saudi Arabia, took sanctuary in the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C. The Iranian government claimed the United States has trumped up charges they were involved with the 9/11 attacks.
Iranian missions in Pakistan
Iran's chief diplomatic mission to Pakistan is the Iranian Embassy in Islamabad. The embassy is further supported by many Consulates located throughout in Pakistan. The Iranian government supports Consulates in several major Pakistan's cities including: Karachi‡, Lahore‡, Quetta‡, Peshawar‡. Iranian government maintains a cultural consulate-general, Persian Research Center, and Sada-o-Sima center, all in Islamabad. Other political offices includes cultural centers in Lahore†, Karachi†, Rawalpindi†, Peshawar†, Quetta†, Hyderabad†, and Multan†.
- ‡ denotes mission is Consulate General
- † denotes mission is Khana-e-Farhang (lit. culture center)
Pakistan missions in Iran
Pakistan's chief diplomatic mission to Iran is the Pakistan Embassy in Tehran. It is further supported by two consulates-general located throughout in Iran. The Pakistan government supports its consulates in Mashhad and Zahidan.
- Nuclear program of Iran
- Persian and Urdu
- Pakistan Armed Forces— Iranian Contingent
- List of statistically superlative countries
- Officials. "Pak-Iran Relations Since Islamic Revolution: Genisis of Cooperatio and Competition". Government of Iran. Embassy of Iran, Islamabad. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- et. al. "1971 war and Iran". 1971 war and Iran. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Pant, Harsh V. (Spring 2009). "Pakistan and Iran's Dysfunctional Relationship". Middle East Quarterly. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- Alvi, Ahmad Hasan (April 28, 2001). "Chief Executive calls for stronger defence ties with Iran". Dawn News. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
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